PASTAFARIAN's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=PASTAFARIAN PASTAFARIAN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Hard To Resist $5 Half Marathon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5833953 Ran the GW HM this past weekend. No medal, no music, and no "free" t-shirt. But beautiful views of the Potomac River the whole way. And unlimited brownies, bagels, and bananas at the end - which meant that I had to use more willpower after the race than during! <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes<BR>sageboard_thread.asp?board=19963x1918x<BR>59900497 </link> <BR> <BR> Looking forward to doing this race again next year! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.co... Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:15:46 EST $5 vs $50 Half Marathon? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5826062 If it was worth $5, wouldn’t it be worth ten times that? (Huh, you don't like my logic?) Yes, you can run the exact same course as the $5 Gar Williams HM just 6 weeks later as the Cloud Snapple HM for $50. <BR> <BR> Dec 12, 2014 $5 Gar Williams HM <BR> Jan 31, 2015 $50 Cloud Snapple HM <BR> <BR> They both use the *exact* same course. Same parking lot. Same USATF course certification. Likely, even the same volunteers :-p <BR> <BR> But the $50 CSHM is at the end of January with high probabil... Mon, 1 Dec 2014 22:10:59 EST ½ and ½ &#8800; 1 marathon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5817463 How can ½ + ½ &#8800; 1? At the DC Half and Half: You run 6.55M, eat a half-smoke with chili and chips, then run the remaining 6.55M to complete the half marathon. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1798624015.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I’m not keen on gimmick races but I like half marathons so I had to consider this. It also had a lot of other things going for it such as a beautiful course. And because they limited it to 200 runners and had race-day packet pickup, I knew dr... Sat, 15 Nov 2014 21:53:38 EST Training for the Half and Half Marathon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5812223 This weekend, I will do the DC Half and Half Marathon: Run 6.55M, eat a half-smoke with chili and chips, then run the remaining 6.55M. I admit that I have not trained my GI system for this. But I have given it some thought: <BR> <BR> When I originally registered, there was a veggie option but I figured I'm only doing this once and I want the full experience, give me the damn meat. Weeks later, I began to worry because I eat meat so rarely, so I switched to the veggie option. Then someone poi... Thu, 6 Nov 2014 21:42:51 EST Crazy elevations in the Annapolis 10M http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5768258 Ran the Annapolis 10M on Sunday. A nice race for hill lovers. Check this "interesting" elevation chart. (I'm just showing an excerpt since SP squeezes photos down too much otherwise. The horizontal lines were 20' apart.) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/8/l686659396.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It was kinda humid too but it’s an August race. We all knew what awaited us. <BR> <BR> A gorgeous course. Great views: the capital of Maryland, the US Naval Academy, Severn River, and l... Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:47:54 EST I Beat a Pregnant Woman http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5760369 Half the fun of trail races is how much we complain about them during and afterward. But how could I complain in the presence of her: 29 weeks pregnant and running a 25K! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l206226394.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Afterward, she admitted only to feeling “a bit sore.” (PS: This photo was taken post-race.) <BR> <BR> And this race certainly had its share of reasons to complain about. Early on, I was thinking “Hiking boots!” as we ascended a hill so... Fri, 15 Aug 2014 15:20:07 EST Lose 5 lbs fast http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5747104 Ran 10M this afternoon. Probably not the wisest thing because the temp hit 90F by the end of my run (which ultimately involved some walking as I attempted to avoid overheating). <BR> <BR> Curious about water loss, I weighed myself before and after. Despite consuming 24oz of gatorade, I lost 5 lbs during the run. (Had I not drank the 25oz, I would have lost 6.5 lbs! And 2/7 lb lost was from calories burned.) <BR> <BR> I figure that instead of 24oz, I should have drank 99oz in 2 hours to rem... Sat, 26 Jul 2014 19:20:29 EST Another Hilly Half http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5693618 Run my 4th Harpers Ferry Half Marathon this past weekend. I'll make this a short report because I've written about it before (see link at end). I won't repeat anything except to say it's a *very* hill course. Here's a pic comparing it to the HMs of Frederick and Baltimore - check out that red line: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/1/l417821392.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This year, due to illness , I was only able to eat 800 calories the day before the race. Despite this, I ha... Mon, 12 May 2014 18:16:03 EST 8K for only $20 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5654263 This is my kind of deal: In lovely Rockville, Maryland, an 8K for only $20. Includes t-shirt and, at the finish, free beer and all the food you can eat, live band, dancing, and a 50' high cool-down spray courtesy of the local fire dept. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/8/l98084959.jpg"> <BR> <BR> 8K is a nice distance for people who've done 5Ks and want to try something a bit longer. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2097390849.jpg"> <B... Sun, 23 Mar 2014 00:07:46 EST 50K Mud Run Not Fun http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5650180 I did the Seneca Creek 50K last week. This was the 2nd year I had done it. Last time, conditions were ideal. This year, not so much. <BR> <BR> This year, it had snowed a week earlier so I considered using screwshoes or yaktrax. My friends speculated that several afternoons above freezing would leave the surface snow-free in which case trail shoes alone would be fine and anything additional would be annoying. I followed their advice. <BR> <BR> Oops <BR> <BR> In the first mile, I realized I ... Mon, 17 Mar 2014 18:02:58 EST 18M warmup for 10M race http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5633628 I did the Club Challenge 10 Miler this past Sunday in lovely Columbia MD. This race is open to any member of a running club in Maryland or DC. Can't beat the price: Free! About 1000 people enter so it's not overcrowded. It takes only 1 minute from getting out of your car to picking up your bib (hooray for race day morning bib pickup) and another 2 minutes to walk to the start line. If they didn't shut down bib pickup 15 minutes before race time, we would have all shown up 5 minutes before the... Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:35:30 EST Free Trail Race w/Choc-Covered Bacon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5569586 What a bargain to start the new year: The Red Eye in lovely Prince William Forest in Triangle, Virginia on Jan 1. <link>www.vhtrc.org/news/redeye </link> <BR> <BR> Nominally 50K, it also includes options to do 10M or 20M. About 1/3 of runners do each distance. <BR> <BR> - Free. (Ok, I already said that but it's worth repeating.) <BR> - No finisher premiums. (No pressure to finish!) <BR> - No prizes for winning. (No pressure to push!) <BR> - But there is one prize: Runner with Best Hangove... Sat, 21 Dec 2013 23:36:14 EST Is 2000 packets of Splenda enough? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5564954 Some people may think I consume Splenda to excess but ... I haven't died yet and it's been so helpful reaching goal weight and maintaining my fluid intake. <BR> <BR> My only complaint: it's expensive. So last week when I was running low, I went to Amazon and found the biggest container (and best discount): 2000 packets for just $38. That's about 2 cents per packet - cheaper than I could find at Walmart! <BR> <BR> Should last me a few years! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople... Sun, 15 Dec 2013 15:13:50 EST Three races, two bottles, one pie http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5553780 I'm not a fast runner yet I've somehow managed to "win" several goodies in three recent club races - all different clubs, none of which I am a member of. <BR> <BR> First, it was the "just for sticking around late enough" pie at a $10 HM: <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal.asp?id=PASTAFARIAN&abepu=true </link> <BR> <BR> Then, a week later, I did an 8K at a winery with a few friends and we won the 1st place award for Masters Team (over 40 yo). We were the only such te... Sat, 30 Nov 2013 23:00:31 EST Run a Half Marathon, Get a Pie http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5499745 Ran the Bachman Valley Half Marathon for the 3rd year in a row. It's getting easier. Probably because I weigh less. <BR> <BR> This year's race was a bit different than last year's. Well, the awards were different anyway. No ceramic finisher medals. (I guess that was too cool to repeat.) Nonetheless, our local potter did make some nice awards. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/6/l769610560.jpg"> <BR> 2nd and 3rd place awards were apple pies - baked using local apples! <BR>... Sun, 29 Sep 2013 22:45:30 EST I'd like pizza with that HM http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5486303 Did a trail HM (half marathon) this morning in lovely Prince William Forest Park, Virginia, just 20 minutes south of DC. <BR> <BR> The course was technically demanding - tricky enough that sometimes you would have to come to a complete stop before deciding how to deal with the jumble of rocks and roots in front of you. I took 20 minutes longer today than last week's HM which was entirely on paved roads. <BR> <BR> But I'm used to running on trails (and am somewhat cautious) so I had no probl... Sun, 15 Sep 2013 14:47:10 EST Warning: Grand Piano Ahead http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5479635 Did the Parks HM today. This is an example of how good a club race can be. Bear in mind as you read this that it was a $55 registration with all the usual stuff: tech shirts, water/gatorade every 2 miles, etc. But above and beyond: <BR> <BR> We encountered a variety of musical acts on the course including a bag piper and a pianist. (RnR has nothing on PHM!) The pianist was particularly notable because he was dressed in a tux and tails (and running shoes), sitting at a grand piano. Yes, someo... Sun, 8 Sep 2013 15:25:39 EST Summer Running Tights http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5454191 Been going through some hardships on the trails recently: <BR> <BR> 4 weeks ago, a wasp stung me in the lip. Wow, did that hurt. My running buds joked that I should be thankful - women were paying hundreds of dollars to get that bee-stung look that I now had "naturally". <BR> <BR> 3 weeks ago, we were running through a trail with a lot of overgrowth. My ankles and thighs got a bit shredded by thorns from raspberry bushes. I suppose that made it easier for poison ivy to get a foothold so of... Tue, 13 Aug 2013 16:24:44 EST Age-Handicapped Race http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5407438 Our local running club is putting on their annual "Age-Handicapped 4M" race for the 4th of July. <BR> <BR> Age-handicapped means that everyone gets a different start time adjusted for your age. (They also gender handicap, too.) So it's possible for very young/old to win - and that sometimes happens. Last year, the winner was a 67-year old! <BR> <BR> Another fun thing is that everyone has to bring a prize and at the end of the race, each person (in the order of the finish) chooses a prize fr... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 12:58:34 EST Horrible Half http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5384889 Why didn't I listen to myself? I've preached that expensive races are inadvisable. Yet here I was doing one: the North Face HM for $85. <BR> <BR> I remember my thinking when I signed up a week earlier - I had a wicked sore throat and felt like crap. I needed something to feel better. Drugs weren't doing it so I figured a race would. And it was close to where I live so I figured I'd see some friendly faces. On the other hand, it was only a week away so there was a risk I wouldn't be fully rec... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 18:18:29 EST Hellacious Half Marathon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5356578 Ran the Harpers Ferry Half Marathon this past weekend. I'll make this a short race report because I've written about it before (see link at end). This is just such a wonderful race - it's become my favorite HM. So here is some new stuff - mostly about this year's version. <BR> <BR> In short, if you like hills, this is the race for you. It features two "cat 5" climbs (i.e., long and steep) with 1000 foot increase in elevation by the end. <BR> <BR> Anyone who has felt good for the first seven... Tue, 14 May 2013 17:32:13 EST Steel Cut vs Rolled? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5280048 After reading about the merits of Steel Cut Oats for the nth time, I finally bought some. But I'm confused by the calories. Here's a photo showing that calories for a serving of my new Steel Cut Oats and my old trusty Quick Rolled Oats are both 140c. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/9/l39890914.jpg"> <BR> <BR> But wait, a serving of Steel Cut is 1/4 cup while the Quick Rolled is 1/2 cup (both dry). How can this be - Steel Cut is twice the calories by volume? That's... Sat, 9 Mar 2013 11:49:46 EST 50K Binge http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5271654 Ran a 33M trail race yesterday. It was officially advertised as a 50K (31M) but I guess the Race Director felt that runners might like more for their money. But I'm not complaining - the registration fee was only $15. <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5248872 </link> <BR> <BR> I figured the biggest risk (after getting injured and stupidly pushing on) was to mismanage my food. Eat too little, too much, wrong food, etc. So many possibilit... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 20:00:08 EST Low-cal 10 mile race report http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5263731 Ran the Club Challenge 10M yesterday in lovely Columbia MD. Gorgeous conditions. Temp in the mid 30s at the start; 40s by the finish. <BR> <BR> I've been doing low-cal for some time: 1500c/day so I was a little curious if I'd bonk before reaching the finish. <BR> <BR> Thoughts at: <BR> Mile 0: My friends are all telling me I'm overdressed. I respond that I'd rather sweat than shiver. They're shivering as we wait for the start. Fortunately, it's a small race - 800 people - so we only have to... Mon, 25 Feb 2013 17:48:32 EST When is a marathon not 26.2? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5248872 Answer: When it's a *trail* marathon, of course! Trail races are notorious for being slightly off distance (and very few are certified due to the extra expense) but the SCG takes it to extremes. <BR> <BR> The Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon & 50K says this on its own home page: <BR> <BR> "The marathon and 50K are at least 26.2 and 31 miles. One of the guys with a GPS says the marathon will be 30 and the 50K close to 34." <BR> <BR> <link>senecacreektrailrace.com </link> <BR> <BR> I... Wed, 13 Feb 2013 10:04:01 EST Toys and Toes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5248022 To recover from a recent sprained ankle, my physical therapist told me I should lift marbles with my toes - it would help strengthen and train muscles, nerves, and tendons. I have long ago lost any marbles I had (ahem); however, scouting around the house, I found my now-grown daughter's collection of toys. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/4/l446922447.jpg"> <BR> <BR> So now I have them under my desk at work and every so often, I pull off my shoes and socks and star... Tue, 12 Feb 2013 16:29:50 EST The anklebones connected to the ... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5211654 Sprained my ankle recently while trail running. Doc said "Physical therapy!" to strengthen the ankle muscles and for some proprioceptive training. Sounds good. <BR> <BR> However the PT spent the entire first session telling me my hips and butt are weak. What? But they don't hurt! It's my ankle - and just one of them! <BR> <BR> Nonetheless the PT insisted ("No point working on your ankle if the rest of your body is just going to screw it all up!"). Maybe she's right but I'm just afraid she c... Thu, 17 Jan 2013 14:07:21 EST Want to run back in time? Anything is possible! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5121475 This Sunday morning is the Anything Is Possible 5K; starts at 1:50am (not a typo) and you're guaranteed to get a PR (unless of course you ran this race last year) because, ten minutes after the start, the clocks go back an hour courtesy of Daylight Saving Time. <BR> <BR> If you run under an hour, you get a negative time! Start at 1:50am, run for 30 minutes, finish before you started at 1:20am! <BR> <BR> The goodies are pretty good too: free pizza and PJ pants to all runners. (Last year, s... Fri, 2 Nov 2012 12:43:02 EST $10 Ceramic Bling http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5077934 Ran the Bachman Valley HM this past Sunday. At only $10, one wouldn't expect much but I did this last year so I knew it was first-class all the way despite the price. All the photos here were taken by one of the runners, Jeanne, a phojographer (sic). <BR> <BR> Instead of having a time cutoff, the race offered a half-hour early start and an hour early start. Nice of the RD to offer this flexibility to get everyone back in a reasonable time. This is not as trivial as it might first sound s... Fri, 28 Sep 2012 03:42:04 EST 15K of Brutality http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5043268 Did the Larry Noel 15K yesterday in lovely Greenbelt MD. At the unusual time of 5pm for the start, it was 84F - ouch. The humidity was on its way up to 94 as we stood around sweating before the race even began. <BR> <BR> Had I known what was in store, I would have gone out slower. Or stayed home. <BR> <BR> Hill after hill after hill. I was totally blitzed at the end. Actually, I was blitzed well before the end. (The last finisher was crying as she crossed the line. And they weren't t... Tue, 4 Sep 2012 00:04:00 EST 500 point sparkgoodie for predicting the end of House http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4882630 The series House is about to end. To whoever is the first person who can predict how it ends, I will award a 500-point sparkgoodie. In order to count, they must be posted in the House discussion area: <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes<BR>sageboard_thread.asp?board=0x6356x4807<BR>9100 </link> <BR> Tue, 15 May 2012 13:11:44 EST Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race and Festival http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4800558 The mild winter really screwed up the cherry blossoms here in DC. The festival - extra long this year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Japan's gift of the trees - will nonetheless miss the peak of the blossoms by 2 weeks! Oops. <BR> <BR> I'm looking forward to the Japanese festival (awesome food - especially love the taiyaki) and the 10 Mile race. I am in charge of a water stop at this race. And it's sooooo big. I have 60 people at my stop alone that will be serving water and gator... Thu, 22 Mar 2012 22:39:01 EST Yet Another Freakish Running Injury http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4774129 I figured I'd try an experiment by taking more fuel than I usually do for a 12-mile long run. I had done a gentle trail run the previous day which I normally don't do before a long run. I was wondering if the extra energy would help offset the trail run. So I consumed a gel just before running and took two bags of Clif Shot Blocks. This would have been 500 calories. <BR> <BR> Alas, the extra fuel did not help. After 8 miles, I began walking. <BR> <BR> As I ran (and walked), the temp dr... Tue, 6 Mar 2012 16:43:16 EST The Ideal Race Website http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4736754 I find most race websites to be frustrating. They leave out important info or make you search all the linked pages to find something - sometimes as basic as where the race is or what time it starts. <BR> <BR> Some websites appear to go out of their way to hide things such as how the water stops are too far apart. Equally bad is when they hide the basic cost and online fees, only telling you on the very last page of the online registration forms or *after* you have paid and registered, tellin... Mon, 13 Feb 2012 12:35:49 EST Cost of Half Marathons 2012 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4733846 Here is an update to a post I did last year. The following table shows prices of HMs close to where I live. (A few have not yet announced their price for 2012 - I'll update this as the year goes on.) I've also noted which have raised their prices. <BR> <BR> $5 MD - Gar Williams HM <BR> $10 MD - Bachman Valley HM <BR> $20 MD - Riley's Rumble HM <BR> $30 DE - Dover AFB Heritage HM <BR> $35 VA - LEAD Strong HM <BR> $40 MD - High Cloud Snapple HM (2011 was $30) <BR> $40 VA - Alexandria ... Sat, 11 Feb 2012 13:55:33 EST Rating Half Marathons http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4726187 I'd like to be able to evaluate brand new races before they even take place. After all, races are a big time and money commitment. Since my preferred distance is a half marathon (HM), I figured I'd focus on new races of that distance. (Although this can also be applied to existing HMs for which you cannot find trustworthy reviews.) <BR> <BR> So I came up with what I believe are the most important attributes and given each a point value. Total them up and you've got a rating. The best pos... Mon, 6 Feb 2012 22:44:41 EST ½ - 1 = High Cloud Snapple Half Marathon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4710825 Ran the weirdly named High Cloud Snapple Half Marathon this morning. A bit pricy ($40) for my taste but with the starting line only a mile from my house, a good opportunity to run with friends. Only I didn't recognize anyone! From chatting with people, it seems everyone traveled far to get here. Rather strange given that this race is notorious for its conditions. (Are you people out of your mind? January in DC? Completely unreliable conditions!) This time the weather service promised t... Sun, 29 Jan 2012 19:13:49 EST Hot Chocolate Left Me Cold http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4611848 I'm not going to give the Hot Chocolate DC 15K/5K a post-mortem because it's been thoroughly described on other sites. Instead, I will give a guide to those sites: <BR> <BR> HC's facebook page has over a thousand complaints, many of which end with sentiments like "Even if you refund my money, I will never do this race again or any race by RAM Racing." [I've since removed that link from this post since HC has deleted the complaints.] <BR> <BR> Since complaints are being deleted, people hav... Sun, 4 Dec 2011 13:11:37 EST Caveat Hot Chocolate http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4606922 I'm running the Hot Chocolate 15K this Saturday. When I initially signed up for this race, it sounded cute. (Chocolate over everything at the finish and a chocolate-themed windbreaker premium!) <BR> <BR> As the race gets closer, things are not looking so pretty. The race organizers are in way over their heads. <BR> <BR> The location has 9000 parking spaces. But they registered 20,000 runners. And there is no public transportation at this location. What were they thinking? They certai... Wed, 30 Nov 2011 23:35:06 EST So Others Might Eat and Occupy DC http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4600535 Did the So Others Might Eat 5K on Thanksgiving Day. Saw some lovely running garb. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/1/l710042030.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Besides the scenery (ran by the Capitol) and the reminders of the hungry (1 in 5 DC residents live at or below the poverty line), the best part of the 5K was that it ended at Freedom Plaza where Occupy DC is based. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/9/l799642524.jpg"> <BR> <BR> They were prepared!... Sat, 26 Nov 2011 22:08:16 EST Medical Tent - Baltimore vs Marine Corps http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4562229 This will be my third rant about Baltimore. At this point, I think I've gotten more mileage complaining about it than running it. <BR> <BR> I didn't mention this previously, but I stopped by the medical tent because one of my calves was bothering me. The medical tent (remember that this was for a 25000-person event that included a marathon as well as a half marathon and 5K) turned out to be a table with two attendants behind it. I saw a lot of equipment yet when I said that my calf was hu... Mon, 31 Oct 2011 22:39:27 EST Baltimore Half Marathon - Why I will never do that race again http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4555264 This post will explain why I will not do CSE's Baltimore Half Marathon again. <BR> <BR> By the end of this, a few may think I'm hypercritical. But I'm hoping more people find this post educational, particularly if you've never done the Baltimore HM. I've done 7 different half marathons as well as one organized by the same company at another location (Frederick) and I regularly volunteer for two different HMs so I think I have a good background for what makes a quality race. In case you're... Thu, 27 Oct 2011 02:42:58 EST carbo-loading, not http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4537298 Did the Baltimore Half today. What a terrible race. I will never do that again. Way too complex, too many lines, too many opportunities for things to go wrong (that did). Would make a good essay in how not to organize a race. If anyone's interested, I can elaborate. <BR> <BR> On the good side, I tried a new strategy - one that probably will sound crazy. Since I've been having problems falling asleep the night before a race, I figured I'd try eating less than usual (since I sleep better... Sat, 15 Oct 2011 21:07:44 EST I thought I was signed up for the Baltimore Half Marathon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4518226 I thought I was signed up for the Baltimore Half Marathon but I am now informed that I registered for the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Half-Marathon at the Under Armour Baltimore Running Festival. Wow do I hate these commercials. <BR> <BR> Oh, and I will go to packet pickup at the Baltimore Sun Health & Fitness Expo, then run with a GEICO pacer, and afterward, find my friends at the T-Mobile Reunion Zone. <BR> <BR> PS: The preferred donut of the race is Dunkin Donuts! <BR> <BR> That's j... Tue, 4 Oct 2011 02:06:16 EST Screw Shoes and Duct Tape http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4506022 Just dragged out my winter running gear. (My toes go numb at 32F so I start getting nervous around this time of the year.) Here is my solution - duct tape. It's not an insulator. Rather, it just stops the cold air flow - and that's sufficient to make my toes happy again. But don't buy the cheap duct tape - doesn't stick well against running shoes and the moistness from your sweat ruins the adhesive too. Get duct tape with extra-strength adhesive. <BR> <BR> I also have inserted sheet me... Tue, 27 Sep 2011 02:20:27 EST $10 Half Marathon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4503174 I've mentioned Bachman Valley HM before and that it was only $10. It was this morning so I figured I'd give a quick race report. <BR> <BR> In short, it was worth it. Well worth it! The only thing I wondered about was that there was Gatorade at only 2 of 5 water stops. So I took more gels instead. But it was unnecessary. Most of the stops offered other gustatory delights. At the halfway point I was tiring so I took some chocolate chip cookies. They also had M&Ms and gummy worms; don't... Sun, 25 Sep 2011 14:54:18 EST Does XXX Motivate You? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4472401 You know that spot on everyone's sparkpage that asks whether this person motivates you? A couple of months ago I was finding that I was using it for everyone. Yes, each time I visited a person's page, I clicked the option to say that person motivated me. <BR> <BR> And it's no lie. I find everyone here to be motivating! Of course that includes the people who have achieved their goals and are sharing their lessons learned. <BR> <BR> But motivators also include the individuals who are at d... Wed, 7 Sep 2011 21:07:00 EST GAP - Great Allegheny Passage http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4472362 Finally recovered from the GAP, a week-long bike ride with my daughter from Cumberland MD to Pittsburgh PA. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, both on the trail and staying in B&Bs each night - in other words, a pretty easy life. Well, there was some peddling involved. And my butt hurt from that damn seat. Oww. <BR> <BR> The GAP turned out to be very different from last year's trip - from Cumberland MD to Washington DC on the C&O Canal Towpath. On that trip, we mostly camped each night. ... Wed, 7 Sep 2011 20:44:51 EST Cost of Half Marathons 2011 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4398614 Earlier this year, I spent time trying to figure out which half marathons to sign up for. This week, I noticed someone describing a $60 registration fee as a "great price" for the National HM. Given what I had found earlier, I suspected that perhaps she didn't realize $60 is no bargain. So I am sharing the prices that I found for other HMs in around the DC area. <BR> <BR> The following half marathons are a reasonable drive from where I live in MD. Note that I am showing the lowest registr... Sun, 31 Jul 2011 23:39:10 EST buying flax seed oil http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4350373 I recently learned that I need to boost my Omega-3's. So next I had to figure out how to buy flax seed oil. Gee, it's not easy! It's soooo expensive. There are so many brands, varieties, and blends. And buying it carries risks. Amazon (where I started looking first) has lots of complaints of people receiving rancid oil. And I also considered buying the seed and a grinder. <BR> <BR> Finally, I held my breath and bought it from Whole Foods. They have a house brand so, although it's sti... Fri, 8 Jul 2011 22:06:14 EST